Episode 801: Sponges: Oldest Creatures in the Sea?
Meet the experts featured in this episode.
Changing Seas would like to thank the following individuals and institutions who kindly allowed their footage, images and other media to be used in this production:
Nickelodeon’s “Spongebob Squarepants” used with permission by Nickelodeon. ©2016 Viacom Media Networks. All Rights Reserved. Nickelodeon, all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks owned by Viacom Media Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc.
University of New Mexico
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Henry M. Reiswig
University of Victoria
University of Florida Whitney Lab
Kirt L. Onthank
National Cancer Institute
NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center
Captain Aaron Erzinger
Captain Brandon Freeland
Todd C. Holmes
Fleet Captain Glen Allen
Ingrid & Leonard Stuart
Jasper de Goeij
Nevelin Dean “Uncle Jakey”
Rob van Soest
Bahamian Reef Sharks
While filming an episode on sponges off New Providence Island, Bahamas, the Changing Seas crew suddenly found itself surrounded by a group of curious, yet calm Caribbean Reef Sharks plus a few nurse sharks. It was an incredible experience to be in the presence of so many of these beautiful fish! While divers occasionally encounter reef sharks on coral reefs, it is rare to see so many at once.
In the tropical waters off the coasts of Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean, shallow water sponges are common sights on reefs. These filter feeders, which are animals, come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Scientists are studying the important ecological roles sponges play in the ecosystem.
Life in Red Bays, Andros Island, Bahamas
While shooting an episode on sponges, the Changing Seas team was given a tour of North Andros by local sponger Fritzgerald Taylor. Sponging is a tradition on the island, with three different commercially viable species collected on the Great Bahama Bank. The sponges are cleaned and dried before being sold to a wholesaler that ships them to markets all over the world.
Wrecks near New Providence Island, Bahamas
While filming an episode on sponges off New Providence Island, Bahamas, the Changing Seas crew and scientific research team happened upon two shipwrecks that were close to each other. These wrecks made for a great dive site, with some sponges encrusting the exterior of the ships. Does anyone know the names of these wrecks?